THE recruitment of seasoned former NRL star, Kirisome Auva’a, at the beginning of the Ipswich Rugby League season proved to be a masterstroke for the Redbank Plains Bears.
The Bears annexed the first A Grade premiership title in their 28 year history on Sunday blitzing Fassifern 42-12.
Somi, as he is known, signed on as just the coach at the beginning of the season, but ended up giving the Bears double value when he decided to also have a run.
His 61-game experience in the NRL with Souths and Parramatta was invaluable and it helped to take the club to both the minor premiership and the title.
Redbank Club president, Jodie Elder, said Somi did a wonderful job with the players and grew as a coach.
“When we signed him we gave him a goal to take us to the ‘big dance’ and he delivered,” she said.
“This club has come along way from when I first joined the committee 15 years ago.
“Back then we had just 74 players in all grades, now we have 39 teams and 650 registered players.”
Fassifern got a jump on Redbank in the grand-final played at North Ipswich Reserve scoring a try after four minutes,
Redbank’s speedsters started to come into play after that and they had the game in their keeping leading 28-12 at half-time.
With a big crowd behind them Fassifern came back in the opening minutes of the second half and twice went over the try-line only for the players to drop the ball.
Alex Letoa was a stand-out for Redbank scoring three tries in a free-flowing encounter.